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The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing: Further claim possible under the Self Employment Income Support Scheme

On 29th May the Chancellor announced changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

As usual here is a link to the latest guidance on the scheme https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

The opening statement on the latest guidance is worth repeating below verbatim

“From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours; employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.

The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to 30 June.

This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June, in order for the current 3 week furlough period to be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims will be published on 12 June. Find out more information on how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.”

So businesses can now furlough employees who can continue doing some work while on furlough.  If you have such employees either they must have already been on furlough or else you must put them on furlough by 10 June i.e. next Wednesday so that they have a full three weeks of furlough before the end of June.

This increased flexibility comes at a cost.

Claims for June and July will continue as previously (except for any adjustments where furloughed employees do some work in July)

Starting in August businesses will no longer be able to claim for national insurance contributions and/or pension contributions for furloughed employees.

From September, in addition, the rate of claim reduces to 70% of the base salary but as an employer you would still need to pay the employee 80% of their previous salary.

For the month of October the % claim reduces further to 60%.

The Job Retention Scheme finally ends at the end of October.

The Chancellor has also announced the availability of a second grant under the Self Employment Income Support Scheme

The self-employed scheme further grant will open for applications in August, but with the grant reduced to 70% of average monthly trading profits. As with the SEISS scheme, the money will be paid in a single instalment covering three months’ average monthly profits up to £6,570, down from the £7,500 cap of the first grant.

The government has not changed the eligibility criteria for the second grant. As with the first version, individuals will have to confirm that they’ve been adversely affected by Covid-19. However, a self-employed worker does not have to have claimed the first SEISS grant in order to be eligible for this final handout.  

 If you have any questions specifically on the Job Retention Scheme or the Self-employment Income Support Scheme you can contact Stephen Rose or Martin Coston directly for advice and help with making claims under the two schemes.

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